Draft Notes: Williams, Calhoun, Peat, Winston

In something of a surprise decision, Texas A&M running back Trey Williams announced (via Twitter) earlier this week that he intends to forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL draft.

“Special thanks to my Texas A&M family and coaching staff,” Williams wrote. “I’ve prayed about it and decided to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL.”

The junior running back was only a part-time player in the Aggies’ offense in 2014, carrying the ball just 81 times for 560 yards (6.9 yards per carry). While his explosiveness could intrigue NFL teams, Williams is not as highly regarded a prospect as a number of other underclassmen running backs who have already declared for the draft.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes to start off the first Friday of 2015….

  • As recently as two weeks ago, Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams was believed to be returning for his senior season, so observers were surprised by a report that he was expected to enter the draft, writes Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. Pauline hears that the second-round grade Williams received from the draft’s advisory committee was a determining factor in his decision.
  • Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun also received a second-round grade recently from the advisory committee, rather than the first-round grade he was anticipating, according to Pauline. As such, Calhoun has yet to decide whether or not he’ll enter the draft.
  • Sources tell Pauline that the family of Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin has been telling people he’ll remain with the Spartans for another year.
  • Last month, a report indicated that Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat, a probable first-round pick, was on the fence about his plan for next year. Per Pauline, “all [is] quiet” on that front at the moment, with no word of any agent meetings for Peat.
  • Tight end Jesse James is reportedly telling people he intends to return to Penn State, but sources that have spoken to Pauline expect he’ll ultimately decide to enter the 2015 draft.
  • According to Pauline, one league insider compared Jameis Winston to Johnny Manziel, speculating that – assuming Winston declares for the 2015 draft – he’ll be the player that general managers are hoping is off the board by the time their teams pick. Reading between the lines on Pauline’s comment, perhaps that means those GMs are worried their owners will push for Winston even if the front office has another player graded higher.
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